HOST: Ron House
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Matthew records that this scribe came to Jesus to “test” Him, that is, to put him to the test. It was another attempt to entrap Jesus in His own words. The Law of Mosses contained some 613 individual laws and commands. How could He pinpoint one as the most important? Jesus’ answer is a simple one: love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. He then goes a step further to name the second most important law—to love your neighbor as yourself. If one keeps these two commands, Jesus says, he will have been faithful to the entire law. At this point in the text, an interesting thing happens. This scribe who came to test Jesus realizes the wisdom and truthfulness of Jesus’ answer. He agrees with Him, commends His answer, and even expounds on what Jesus says. This doubter has seemingly become a believer. He has been won over by the unavoidable truth of what Jesus has taught. In response, Jesus commends the scribe by telling him: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” What a testament to the wisdom and truthfulness of Jesus.
What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!